“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
I love this verse. There are so many great nouns bundled up into one sentence, I could explode!
HOPE, JOY, and PEACE. They’re the kind of “big deal” words that can make or break your reactions to life, your day, or your relationships. They are words that sound beautiful, desirable, and easy. YET they are words that sometimes feel distant or impossible.
If you’ve read a bit of my book, you know that “choose joy” was a staple self pep talk I had on going with myself when I was 17, and angry with God that my mom’s cancer came back for the second time.
Choose joy Ceci, choose joy, I told myself every morning for two weeks as I fought the urge to be bitter, zombie like, and resentful toward the creator. In a split second my happiness was gone. It felt foreign because I was typically a happy and joyful individual. Where did my joy go?
As it felt like someone blew out my candle of happiness, I was missing the feeling of cheerfulness, but I was actually learning to step into the decision of lasting joy.
Happiness is external
Happiness is circumstantial
Happiness is fleeting
Happiness is not dependable
Happiness is a feeling
Happiness is momentary
Happiness fluctuates on your day, mood, and if the sun is out or not (guilty)
Happiness wavers depending on if you get the job or not, or if you get to go on vacation or not
Happiness is fickle
Joy doesn’t just fall into place.
Joy doesn’t say oh, I see you’re distressed I’ll come lift your mood!
Joy doesn’t appear out of nowhere
Joy is not natural in a hopeless time
Joy is not easy
Joy is a choice
Joy is a mental decision
Joy is habit that takes being intentional
Joy is a fruit of the spirit
Joy is stable as a rock
“Joy is a constant delight in God” -Matthew Henry
Where happiness fades under stress because of a loss of job, serious injury, or plans not panning out like one hoped…. joy sticks around (acknowledges that it’s rough, not perfect, or painful) and trusts.
“O Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
what joy for those who trust in you.”
Are you trusting?